The New York Giants officially began the process of blowing things up on Monday, announcing the firing of head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese. Following the Giants loss to the San Francisco 49ers, owner John Mara said the team would wait until after the season to make a determination on the future of the coach and general manager. However, the awkward benching of Eli Manning sped up that timeline.
Manning is expected to start again this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, but his future, and that of the rest of the roster is up in the air. The Giants are 2-10, with no long-term answer at quarterback, and dealing with a host of injuries. They made the playoffs a year ago, but clearly have a host of issues to deal with. Will the new GM get a full rebuild going, or will we see a patchwork job with many of the existing veterans?
This all comes as the Giants have moved ahead of the also 2-10 49ers in the 2018 NFL Draft order. The two teams are tied, but the Giants hold the edge in strength of schedule. The return of Eli Manning could provide them opportunities to win a couple more games, but things are bad enough that losing out would not be surprising at all.
While the Giants are stumbling along with a disheartened fan base, the 49ers are about as happy as a 2-10 team could be. We saw the exuberance in the locker room following their first win, and then on Monday we heard that following the win over the Bears, there was cheering as Marquise Goodwin offered up his first-row bus seat to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
These are two little things, but the tone of the locker room has been incredible for a team that took over two months to get their first win. Coming off their second win in three games, there is considerable optimism within the 49ers organization. We don’t know for sure that Jimmy Garoppolo is the quarterback of the future, but people are feeling pretty good after his first start. The remaining month will tell us plenty more, but for now, it’s easy to be optimistic.
On one side of the 2-10 coin, we’ve got a 49ers team with tremendous optimism heading into the final quarter of the 2017 season. On the other side of the coin, we’ve got a Giants team that is struggling to figure out what their future holds. Given how last season went for both teams, this is not entirely shocking. And yet, it is a much better time to be a 49ers fan than a Giants fan. The 49ers appear to be moving into the upswing of their rebuilding process, while the Giants are not even really clear on whether they are moving into the rebuilding process.
Plenty can change over the course of four weeks in the NFL, but for the time being, things aren’t so awful!